So Much for Progress

Kurt Andersen writes an interesting article at Vanity Fair about how our cultural landscape has become essentially stagnant. There’s a lot in this article to unpack and I have to say that I disagree with Andersen’s criteria in a number of areas. The short version is that I think Andersen ignores a number of areas of culture and perhaps is very select in what he considers to represent the avante garde. The comment section was actually quite intriguing. The parallels between Andersen and Fredric Jameson’s thoughts on Postmodernism struck me as compelling (primarily because I have similar issues with both). Further, someone in the comment section brought up video games as an area where culture has radically changed in the last twenty years. Both comments seem to hit home the limitations of Andersen’s take on contemporary culture. Still, interesting article that’s worth some thought.

[As a disclaimer I should probably note that I read this article during a bout of insomnia the other night and I’m writing based on some fuzzy memories. Hence I’ll refrain from going into too much depth and instead let the article speak mostly for itself.]